Sunday, 15 March 2020

Crisis Reaction and Sports Investing

I wasn't expecting a Sky News segment about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, (you may have heard of it), to trigger a blog post, but the words of the WHO's Executive Director Dr. Michael Ryan regarding acting decisively to slow down the spread of viruses do have a parallel with sports betting.

Dr. Ryan said:

If you need to be right before you move, you will never win. Perfection is the enemy of the good. Speed trumps perfection. 
Sound familiar? Dr Ryan continues with:
Everyone is afraid of making a mistake. Everyone is afraid of the consequence of error. But the greatest error is not to move.
As I've said about the far more trivial topic of sports betting, if you wait until a system is proven, you're too late.
The greatest error is to be paralysed by the fear of failure
A lesson not just for crisis reaction and sports investing, but for life in general.

Unfortunately with most top sports shutting down at least for a few weeks, there aren't a whole lot of opportunities for betting these days. Presumably markets in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases / deaths is considered bad form? 

A few weeks off isn't an issue for me personally, but thousands of people in the industry will be impacted as the shutdown goes on. 

Hopefully anyone who relies on sports or sports investment for their primary income has something to fall back on.

Expect a rush of offers for casino betting such as this one, from what used to be a fairly decent site, courtesy of @Day25:
"The next level"! Good grief. 

I had something of a nightmare a couple of nights ago, dreaming that I'd lost £10,000 betting in a market that I had no idea about. It was quite a relief when I realised it was just a dream and my account was still healthy.

One of my nephew's works for a "sports betting consultancy" but with no top class football to analyse or invest on, layoffs are a possibility.
"I'm a business person, I don't like having thousands of people around when you don't need them. When we need them, we can get them back very quickly."
So said Donald Trump a couple of weeks ago when asked if shutting down the White House National Security Council's entire global health security unit and eliminating jobs addressing global pandemics in 2018 was likely to hamper the U.S. government's response to the coronavirus.

Well of course not. Nothing is ever his fault. Just this past Friday, he said that he doesn't "take responsibility at all", quite a U-turn from his views on leadership in 2013.
It's a little concerning that some on social media still don't get why banning big crowds is important in slowing the spread of the virus. This article in the Washington Post explains it all quite clearly. I suspect the sports that have suspended for four weeks or so will be extending those suspensions. I hope I'm wrong.


I don't follow the NRL too closely but was planning to see my first live game in Township, Queensland on July 12th, but that league seems to be one that hasn't planned for a long stoppage and begging for a handout because "it's not our fault". 

Except that it is your fault for not planning for such an eventuality. We have business continuity exercises at work every six months, a royal pain in the arse to be honest, but when these things happen, the importance of the exercises and preparedness are clear.

But the big picture is that these are minor inconveniences. People are dying, and more people will die than necessary if the government continue with their 'herd immunity' idea which has a couple of gaping holes. One is that there is still some doubt about whether or not survivors develop immunity, and even if they do, what happened with "Wave Two" of Spanish Flu in 2018-20 was that the virus mutated anyway. 

The government should be doing everything they can to 'flatten the curve' and avoid saturating the NHS and seeing a mortality rate like that of Italy at 6.81% which is what happens when patients can't be treated properly. 

Unfortunately this policy being followed by every normal country basing their decisions on science comes at a huge economic cost, which the Tory government can ill afford after the Brexit debacle, so what's a few thousand lives if we can limit the damage to GDP? How about suspending Brexit for a few years?  

And on that note, I'm off. With yet another birthday anniversary fast approaching, as tradition dictates I shall be in the USA next week, although my plans to run a 5k race and catch an MLR game there on the big day have been scuppered. My daughter's plan to join my wife and I in the mountains with her kids for some skiing was blocked yesterday by the not-unexpected decision by Trump to add the UK to the list of countries for which the European travel ban applies. Stay safe. 

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